This week was my youngest sister’s birthday. Like Hobbits, we are very fond of birthdays in my family and we celebrate everyone’s no matter what their age. My father had a little birthday party in the summer as he turned 69 and for my youngest sister’s birthday in October, my next-youngest sister (I have 3 sisters) took her on a day of shopping around Waco. They visited consignment stores, flea markets, and boutiques, picking up an assortment of small gifts as well as random purchases. It was a very fun day for both of them and it was a lot more about the bonding and friendship than about the gifts. Additionally, they brought back some munchables like good old-fashioned licorice all-sorts and homemade wild plum jam. They remembered reading about how children in the vintage era would have licorice all-sorts. I’m not sure if the candies of that time tasted like the ones we had—which varied from great licorice flavored ones to strange ones that tasted like a collision of laundry detergent and anise. 😊 But we had fun trying them!
My gift to her was a multi-screen (including digital edition) of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent and some earrings. She recently got her ears pierced so earrings were actually a necessary purchase as she has to wear them 24/7 for 6 months and I chose ones that were understated and elegant to match the DVD. We’ve recently almost doubled our digital movie collection by using an inexpensive program called Disc to Digital. We were slow to use digital at first and lethargically redeemed codes that tagged along with DVDs, rarely watching the digital. But once everyone in the family upgraded some of their DVDs, a great variety of movies started to pop up in our phone app and the app was suddenly more interesting. I didn’t know we had even owned some of these movies before! However, Sleeping Beauty is not available via the program we’ve been using and it’s one of my sister’s all-time favorite movies. So of course—I was really glad we do birthdays in our family.
Review copies for the next 2 weeks are Consuela and Facets of Fantasy. If you complete a 5-star review and put it on 3 or more retailers, you can email me with your mailing address and links to the reviews and I will mail you a complimentary signed paperback copy of the book you reviewed. This isn’t an “incentive” just a thank you, and should not encourage you to put up a favorable review unless it is your real opinion. (Consuela is one of the most light-hearted and family-friendly of my books. Facets, on the other hand, has only mild content but heavy undertones that deal with death, grief, and anger. So, if you are triggered by any of those things, be aware before taking the book.)
Consuela Review Copy
Facets of Fantasy Review Copy
And there will be more updates
I have always disliked having my picture taken. Everyone most likely has some kind of quirk or characteristic that’s specific to them. (I also dislike talking on the phone, which I think is a pretty rare characteristic.) We are all different and that’s something to be unapologetic about. After all, who wants to know a robot woman with no individuality, no personal traits--a manufactured person without their little surprises? If there is such a robot out there, I don’t know her and I don’t want to know her.
However, I've found it's really valuable to learn to do things that are not 100% my favorite. And even people who normally enjoy dressing up and smiling vacantly into a camera (as I do not) don’t like photographs of them in all circumstances. For instance, the picture on their driver’s license. I’ve never met someone who told me they like the way they look on their driver’s license. I have often met people who said they distinctly hated that picture and that it barely even looks like them. I sometimes wonder if the people who actually take the driver’s license pictures enjoy doing it, but I have never asked about it.
So I woke up about a week ago and realized my author photo is almost 5 years old. I remember the day it was taken—a nice warm afternoon in late February, in 2017. I was sitting on our porch. At that time our little dog was still alive and she featured in a lot of the pictures because she loved accompanying us to do anything. This picture had served me pretty well, but maybe it was time for a new one. So I put on something green, to try a new look because I was wearing pink in the previous snapshot. I wore tall heels just for fun because I rarely wear them and I have never practiced keeping my balance in that type of shoe. It wasn’t easy! 😊 And I ended up wrecking the heels as I walked all over our yard taking pics, but I enjoyed myself a lot more than I thought I would. We went out into the orchard to a big old mulberry tree we have. It's huge and its branches trail on the ground and have to be tied up with ropes, but the ropes blend into the foliage so you hardly notice them. Autumn leaves littered the ground while we took pictures. I haven’t been out to this tree in the autumn before—I go out to help in the summer when there are mulberries.
Here’s a pic of me in the branches along with my updated author pic. In fact, I am sitting on the same porch in almost the way I did for my last pic. I just often choose pics taken on the porch because they have good lighting.
Review copies for the next 2 weeks are Celestine Princess and City of the Invaders. If you complete a 5-star review and put it on 3 or more retailers, you can email me with your mailing address and links to the reviews and I will mail you a complimentary signed paperback copy of the book you reviewed. This isn’t an “incentive” just a thank you, and should not encourage you to put up a favorable review unless it is your real opinion. (Celestine Princess content is Moderate for violence, including an area where a prisoner is partially undressed while she talks with a man--the scene is not sexual--and later she is forcibly costumed by other women while she’s subjected to a ritual. However, this does not really count as “sexual violence” and is not mentioned in the content rating on the download page.)
Celestine Princess Review Copy
City of the Invaders Review Copy
And there will be more updates.
Whenever I poke into a resale shop, I find lots of stuff that costs literally pennies. Pennies are my favorite type of money to hand over to sales clerks. So I pick up a DVD here, a candle there, a wall hanging for a few dollars more but still very nice price, and CDs for a few per dollar. It’s mostly old stuff, of course, but I’ve never exactly courted high fashion so that doesn’t bother me at all. 😊 While sorting through lots of things that are old and look it, I stumble sometimes on something that faintly brings back memories and one of those is Point of Grace. This Christian quartet recorded CDs for about 25 years, becoming a trio towards the end. I remember people often complained about their sticky sound and feel-goody message, but I didn’t listen to them much because they seemed to be for middle-aged women.
However, with just a few cents per CD I took a chance on some of their albums. Maybe because I actually AM a middle-aged woman now or maybe because it’s time to give the group a reevaluation, I found I actually enjoyed some of their music. There are lots of frontrunner tracks that live up to their sugary reputation, like “Day by Day” and “Circle of Friends,” but tucked behind them I was surprised to find a few good tracks in the corners. I looked up the albums I didn’t have on YouTube and put 1 track per album I’d listened to into a YouTube playlist. It’s nice to listen to while I’m dealing with my books because I correlated the songs to go with a particular book in my mind. They appear in the playlist in the order books appear on the website (Track 4 “Love Like No Other” goes with my Scotland book which I will put at the top of the General Fiction category when it’s written) and at the end there are a couple of POG Christmas songs that I simply put in because I liked these 2 songs.
When our cars had lots and lots of trouble this week, I had the adventure of driving my sister to work in an unfamiliar area of town which has been tormented by massive construction around the interstate highway for 3 years. It wasn’t easy to figure out how to get there and back when she wasn’t directing me because the GPS was not working and I ended up having a near wreck at one point. But while I hung around the store waiting for her to close up, I got this lovely framed picture and at home I placed it near the portrait of our special friend, our Pomeranian dog, who passed away in June. The framed pic is a little hard to see from this angle, but it’s a painting of an enchanted-looking house just visible at the end of a moonlit lane surrounded by mysterious woods. I just liked it so much.
Review copies for next 2 weeks are A Year with the Harrisons and Bellevere House. If you complete a 5-star review and put it on 3 or more retailers, you can email me with your mailing address and links to the reviews and I will mail you a complimentary signed paperback copy of the book you reviewed. This isn’t an “incentive” just a thank you, and should not encourage you to put up a favorable review unless it is your real opinion. (Don't be fooled: I've listed Bellevere as Young Adult and Literary Fiction on the hosting site, but the review download page calls it "Chapter Books and Middle-Grade" for some reason. This is not a chapter book or MG fiction title, so you should be aware of that.)
A Year with the Harrisons Review Copy
Bellevere House Review Copy
And there will be more updates.
Author of Science Fiction, General Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Anthology Fiction
Always looking to better my craft.
Join the newsletter and get a mini-book with first chapters from 10 different books. There are books in 4 genres: Science Fiction; General Fiction; Historical Fiction; and Anthology Fiction. A Third book accompanies Invaders and Consuela in a trilogy but is not excerpted here as it is recently published. Get an overview of what's going on with my work today!
Bellevere House has been featured on Ezvid Wiki video "10 Wonderfully Inventive Retellings That Interpret Classic Stories in a New Way." Click to see the video.